Thursday, 21 May 2020

Bethungra moves back to the Museum

Bethungra Loop - in N scale.   Layout returns to the Junee Broadway Museum

With the relaxation of COVID restriction, Bob and his son helped me relocate the layout.

As the layout was never designed to be "portable", I knew it was going to be a bit awkward.  Bob brought down his trailer (for the collapsible table).

The main board in the back of my 7x5' trailer.  Note the long backscene has been removed, and the back tray of the trailer is in the lowered position.  Ropes were attached to the unsceniced end to hold the layout firmly to the front of the trailer.  The trailer's cage was then wrapped in a tarp, to reduce the effect of wind damage. 

Bob is also the artist who will be painting the backscene.  Before we did anything, I ran a train, and Bob also marked out the distant hills profile on the backscene with white chalk

The wiring from the extension, to the main board was disconnected, and the two sections separated. The extension benchwork was maneuvered into the back of my Honda, but the main board was not going to fit my trailer unless the long backscene was removed

The extension on its side. 
The fixed legs meant that the extension was a snug fit  in my Honda CRV.  This is not a layout that was designed to be frequently moved. 

The 4km trip to the museum was easy, and I stayed below 50km/h to minimise any adverse effects from wind.  Then came the interesting exercise of getting the layout back into the room.

This involved moving the main board through a window opening into the "train room", and the only damage, was one of the trees was dislodged.  (A simple fix).

In the train room, the layout was reassembled in situ  As expected, there was some leg adjustments for the uneven flooring.  Reconnection of the electric wires, power pack, and a test train was run around successfully.

The corner of the "train room" showing the layout, and a selection of railway posters in the room.  Please note, the missing backscene (awaiting the artist touch), AND that the room has not yet been painted after repair of the plaster.  But I hope that the new Bethungra loop layout will be the impetus needed to finish the room.

As painting the backscene is simpler for Bob without having to lean over the layout, the backscene was left off.  The museum is also hoping to get the Perspex front installed, the electrics, and curtains fitted.  I am sure they will want to do some other "improvements", but I think my work is done for now.


  1. Well done! I remember seeing the 'old' version in the Museum back in 2016 during the Rhythm and Rail Festival.

    1. Thank you Robert for your comments, and for visiting in 2016. The new train room contains additional stuff now that we could not get out on display with the big layout in-situ. I am hoping that the room will be all ready for the next Rhythm-n-Rail event (next year in May?). Many of the exhibits within the museum have been revamped, with new lighting, and display cases - and I think well worth the $5 donation.

  2. congrats Rob now you will be able to start wagga ????

  3. G'day Rob,

    You've done an amazing job with this project.
    Thank you for the tips along the way & I look forward to your Wagga Model Railway.
    Do you have any plans to model Narrow Gauge or is playing/working with PBRs 2' Gauge enough - haa hhaaaa ?

    Cheers Woz

    1. Thank you Woz for your comments. Glad my tips were of benefit - the Bethungra series of blog posts was aimed primarily for the volunteers at the Museum, but working in a new scale, has also been a learning experience for me. Yes, living close to Pete's Hobby Railway(google this for a website) has assisted with my narrow gauge prototype fetish, but there are still plans for the SM32 outside (sugar cane railways), as well as On30, HOn3 and HOe. But my focus needs to return to Wagga, and the fabrication of the train room.